where the writers are
Ceremony

Ceremony

Shrouded in coast fog, the chitter

of Nuthatch and Junco, crisp

as a shaman’s rattle. All morning,

late plums drum my garden

steps. I am mixing my mother’s ashes

with birdseed, elbow-deep in a galvanized

pail. Swishing the whispering seed

with ghostly flour milled in the singing bell of the crematorium

pollinating each grain

with her smoky voice

her elegant fingers.

Plunging my hands into the seed,

her ash a gritty surprise,

more sand than feathery smoke.

The seed, the chaff, the hazing vapor

Memory of a feathery puff

dusting her downy cheek

childhood holding its breath

powdery grains aloft as sintered rainbows

and the hopping, waiting, head

cocked birds and songs –flow

through my fingers, ticking into the tinned tub.

Rising from this meld of future and past

my hands phantom-pale, sintered, translucent.